Greatest Female Comedienne of All Time

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Who is the Greatest Female Comic of all Time


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  • #1
FrancisZ

Main Question or Discussion Point

Lately, I've been watching the documentary series "Make'm Laugh" on PBS. And it's gotten me to wondering: namely, that there has not seemed to have been as many comediennes, as there have been their male counterparts.


That is NOT to suggest, in any way, that women aren't as funny; but rather that they just do not appear to be taking this line of work seriously (pun intended).



http://i2.iofferphoto.com/img/item/378/195/86/momma.jpg

Personally, Vicki Lawrence I've always loved very much as "Mama;" and Phyllis Diller has a special place in my heart, for that certain episode of Scooby-Doo she had done years ago...

http://img250.imageshack.us/img250/8159/s14di.jpg [Broken]


But if I had to narrow it down to just two contenders, I think most everyone would agree that it has to either be : Lucille Ball, or Carol Burnett; who is the absolute all-time favorite female comic.


You decide PF. I'll leave a space for "other," with respect to Gilda Radner, Whoopi Goldberg, et al.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
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Lucille Ball, The things she did in her "I love Lucy" shows were classics.
 
  • #3
FrancisZ
Lucille Ball, The things she did in her "I love Lucy" shows were classics.

Oh I agree: Lucy was the entire show (Ricky was just a cheap bass-tard...almost as bad as Fred). However, this face provided for by Ms. Burnett says it all to me...

carol_burnett.jpg
 
  • #4
Astronuc
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Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett were two who immediately came to mind.

I agree with Evo, Lucille Ball in "I Love Lucy" is a classic.

Others:

Gracie Allen
Minnie Pearl
Moms Mabley
Anne Meara (of Stiller and Meara)
Fannie Flagg

What can I say - I'm old.
 
  • #5
Evo
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Lucy, freezing in the meat locker, working on the choclate candy line, making mayonaise to sell, setting her fake nose on fire in Hollywood, dressing as an ET on top of the Empire State building, dressing as Superman and getting locked outside on a ledge, Vita Veta Vegamin commercial, getting eaten by a dragon "I'm in love with the dragon's dinner", the fashion show in Paris, oh my god, there are just too many classics.
 
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  • #6
lisab
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One of the better jobs I had in college was a cocktail waitress at a comedy club. I worked there for 3 years and saw hundreds and hundreds of stand-up routines.

My favorite: Paula Poundstone! She can ad-lib like no one else, and that takes a quick, sharp mind. I list her as the best comedian who played at our club, not just best comedienne.

But, then again, my comedy knowledge is limited to stand-up comics who were active in the San Francisco bay area in the mid 1980s.
 
  • #7
FrancisZ
I'm growing fond of Kristen Wiig myself...

http://www.hulu.com/watch/53463/saturday-night-live-gilly [Broken]


But yes, Paula Poundstone pretty funny in my book as well.
 
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  • #8
My favorite: Paula Poundstone!
she was the first to come to my mind. I don't think there are any other female comedians that I have enjoyed as much as her.
most of the modern female stand-ups tend to be obnoxious or focus on things like pms and male bashing, which gets really old. poundstone is truely clever and witty.
 
  • #9
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Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett were two who immediately came to mind.

I agree with Evo, Lucille Ball in "I Love Lucy" is a classic.

Others:

Gracie Allen
Minnie Pearl
Moms Mabley
Anne Meara (of Stiller and Meara)
Fannie Flagg

What can I say - I'm old.
Ah Yes I remember them well :smile:
 
  • #10
OmCheeto
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Edith Anne....

and thath the truthththth.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ocBO0fr1Ui4&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ocBO0fr1Ui4&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
 
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  • #11
brewnog
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Hmm, I've never heard of these people.
 
  • #12
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Phyllis Diller, is my number one favoritehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/AdotmuBfMKg&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/AdotmuBfMKg&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_Diller
 
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  • #13
turbo
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Lucy, freezing in the meat locker, working on the choclate candy line, making mayonaise to sell, setting her fake nose on fire in Hollywood, dressing as an ET on top of the Empire State building, dressing as Superman and getting locked outside on a ledge, Vita Veta Vegamin commercial, getting eaten by a dragon "I'm in love with the dragon's dinner", the fashion show in Paris, oh my god, there are just too many classics.
Having Richard Widmark sign a grapefruit??? Her writers did a fine job playing up her "incompetence".
 
  • #14
turbo
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Edith Anne....

and thath the truthththth.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ocBO0fr1Ui4&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ocBO0fr1Ui4&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
Maine's junior senator IS Edith Anne. Just search YouTube for Susan Collins and prepare to be saccharined to death.
 
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  • #15
turbo
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Hard to say who's my favorite comedienne. Gracie Allen delivered her lines with such a frivolous, air-head dead-pan that she's got to be up there. Phyllis Diller was good at stand-up, if you could stand the shtick (and the eyebrows painted up on her forehead), though Joan Rivers milked that genre a little better (IMO).

Barbara Feldon was fantastic in Get Smart, though she should have been busting a gut in many scenes. Buck Henry, Mel Brooks, and other writers had a talent for creating a mix of hyperbole and banality, while inserting inside jokes, running gags, and the occasional "howler" into the scripts. The cast of Get Smart played everything as dead-pan as possible making that show my favorite cold-war comedy.

Mae West was a darned good comedienne, too. Check her out in "My Little Chickadee". She was overwhelmed by Fields' performance, but still held up well. Nobody out-did Fields.
 
  • #16
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All of that shtick, the eyebrows the hair, the god awful cloths, was all a part of what made her so funny. Joan Rivers copied Phyllis in the "females poking fun at them selfs" act. What I find very interesting is that many great female stand up comics have rather good collage degrees. Which follows my beliefs, that funny people are smart{be it street smarts or book learning}.
 
  • #17
Ivan Seeking
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I can't pick one. :cry:

I keep thinking that there is a more current choice that I'm missing.
 
  • #18
Kurdt
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What an extensive list of choices. I think other will win.
 
  • #19
Ouabache
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Lucy, freezing in the meat locker, working on the choclate candy line, making mayonaise to sell, setting her fake nose on fire in Hollywood, dressing as an ET on top of the Empire State building, dressing as Superman and getting locked outside on a ledge, Vita Veta Vegamin commercial, getting eaten by a dragon "I'm in love with the dragon's dinner", the fashion show in Paris, oh my god, there are just too many classics.
She didn't even need to open her mouth, to have me falling off my chair. :biggrin:
Tender foot... Mashing the Grapes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw0D-Rv_vro
 
  • #20
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she was the first to come to my mind. I don't think there are any other female comedians that I have enjoyed as much as her.
most of the modern female stand-ups tend to be obnoxious or focus on things like pms and male bashing, which gets really old. poundstone is truely clever and witty.
ditto. most women aren't funny. Leno had Kathy Griffin on once and she got all bent out of shape because Leno made some crack that implied she wasn't pretty. if they can't take a joke and don't understand self-deprecating humor, they need to get lost.
 
  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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My favorite: Paula Poundstone! She can ad-lib like no one else, and that takes a quick, sharp mind. I list her as the best comedian who played at our club, not just best comedienne.

But, then again, my comedy knowledge is limited to stand-up comics who were active in the San Francisco bay area in the mid 1980s.
Poundstone is/was good! I would list her as one of my favorites.

I always liked Lucy, Carol Burnett, and Lily Tomlin, but I tend to go for the observational humor more than the shtick. Diller had her moments as did Joan Rivers. Others that I would include in a list of top picks are Margaret Cho, Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg, Roseanne, and Rosie O'Donnell [before they became talk show hosts etc].

I like Sarah Silverman too. :biggrin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgHHX9R4Qtk

If we are voting on the best shtick, then I think it easily goes to Lucy.
 
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  • #22
FrancisZ
What an extensive list of choices. I think other will win.

Well what usually happens, whenever anyone prepares a list for polling, is that some pissy bastard eventually comes along and complains that you left something out. And that is why I told you upfront that I really only narrowed it to just Lucy and Carol Burnett. I assumed (apparently poorly) that most would agree with those two choices.

But statistically speaking: if so many other people are now choosing other, rather than either of my two main choices, then I am content with that as well--my initial assumption wrong, and hypothesis disproved. I'll just have to come up with another assumption at some point.


I like Margaret Chou, Ellen DeGeneres, and a host of others; but I didn't honestly think, when I made this poll, that most everyone would agree they're the leading competition; if for no other reason, than for lack of their respective longevity, when compared to either Lucy or Carol Burnett, of course.
 
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  • #23
OmCheeto
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I can't believe no one picked Tina Fey. She's probably #2 on my list behind Tomlin.

Though I didn't care much for her Sarah Palin parroting.

I hate it when someone steals other peoples comedy.:wink:
 
  • #24
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As far as female stand-up comedy goes, Morgan Murphy is one of the funniest in my opinion.

Edit - Between Burnette and Ball, I'd go with Lucille Ball all the way.

Comedic television and stand-up comedy are, to me, night and day so when someone is referred to as simply a "comedian" I immediately think of the stand-up variety. For that reason, I'm not sure I could say that Lucille Ball is the best comedienne ever (since I place more emphasis on material than I do on acting).
 
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